9 Things the Pro Ask Suppliers When Sourcing for Home Textile

Wanna Source Home Textile Like a Pro?

It is undeniable that home textile sourcing plays an important role in every home and bedding businesses. Good sourcing techniques bring you the benefits and competitive advantages to your business. It can even save you valuable time and cut off the unnecessary expenses. Once you have found your perfect home textile supplier, you may want to ask them several questions.

So what should you look beyond products and designs? Here are the things you will need to ask the home textile supplier if you would like to source like a pro!

1. Minimum

MOQ stands for minimum order quatity

Having the minimum order quantity (a.k.a the MOQ) is so prevalent to any supplier or manufacturer. It is the minimum amount of the product that the supplier would like to produce in one order.

Just like you, most suppliers are better off when they sell at a larger volume. This is because they can leverage the economy-of-scale, allowing them to have a lower cost of production. Consequently, they can sell you at a more competitive price and making more margin simultaneously. This is a win-win situation for both parties.

On the perspective of the supplier, there is an additional cost in the machine setup and product development to have the production that corresponds to your order requirements. In this case, your order requirements might include fabric weight, custom design, custom size, just to name a few. For this reason, most suppliers would not supply you unless your order quantity does not assist them to reach the break-even.

Also, don’t forget to ask your supplier that is the minimum is eligible for the assorted designs. Most suppliers allow you to add different products to reach the required minimum amount per order. Should you are a small retailer or maybe having a home business, asking this question would helps you substantially.

2. Available Size (Cutting Width)

Home Textile Cutting by Fashion Hometex Co., Ltd.

Most of the suppliers don’t have the fabric machine that fits all of the available sizes. Thus, the available cutting width is different from each supplier. Be certain to ask the supplier that they can accept your product size requirement or not.

3. Stock Colours

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It’s better to ask your home textile supplier about what range of colour they provide. I am talking about the dyeing and printing colour. Why is this matter? This is because there’s a cost for developing a new colour or even a slightly new shade of the available colour. You will not only have additional expenses but also your valuable lead time.

Normally, the standardised home textile supplier has their stock product colour corresponding to all of the colour in the PANTONE. My suggestion would be choosing your preferred product colours using the PANTONE and ask your supplier whether they have it or not.

4. Material Used

Photo by Jean-Philippe Delberghe on Unsplash

A substantial amount of the home textile suppliers are specialised in a certain material. You may find a supplier specialise on cotton and another focus particularly on polyester. Knowing the right kind of material used by the supplier brings you the right product.

Supposing that you are demanding home textile supplies made from cotton, you can also turn to ask the polyester home textile provider. They might recommend some product that has the same functional benefit to you. Who knows, right? Better ask than nothing! This technique is best when you are facing time constraint and your supplier might not deliver the product in time. You might have more supplier options to choose from this.

5. Fabric Weight

There're 2 main system for calculating fabric weight - GSM and OZ/yd²

It is particularly important to know your required fabric weight in order to source the right and desirable products. A considerable amount of the home textile suppliers out there use GSM or grams per square meter as a measurement for the fabric weight. Be that as it may, you might also find some suppliers use OZ unit if you source from the country where they use imperial units.

Not all of the supplier out there have all of the available weight. It is better to ask them about their capability to produce your desired fabric weight.

6. Lead Time

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Be sure to ask this to your supplier. The lead time is so varied depending on where do you source the home textile products from. You don’t want the slow production lead time to affect your urgent need for your home textile merchandise. Especially, if your products are seasonal, you will need your merchandise ready for the retail at the right time.

Each supplier has different production capacity and efficiency. From my previous experience, the lead time is ranging from 30-120 days. Some of the suppliers may only have the fabric cutting but not sewing or quilting, they may transport the work-in-process products to somewhere else an make the finished goods on their behalf. So if you don’t want to add the extra days to the chain, it is better to find a vertically integrated supplier where they have an all-in-one-place production system.

Moreover, also remember to add shipping time into account since the different modes of transportation have varying delivery time.

7. Available Stocks

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Most of the time the supplier has the available stocks in their warehouse which is ready to ship. This can help you save your time in product sourcing and the merchandise will be at your disposal within roughly 7-14 days for the shipping and customs clearance.

8. Price and Payment Terms

This is probably on anyone’s checklist. However, just asking solely for the quoted price is not enough. I’ll need you to be aware of what currency is used for the quotation and the payment terms.

Regularly, you will need to deal with overseas suppliers. As a result, the quotation you will be received will be in the foreign currency. You will be automatically subject to the exchange rate fluctuation risk. An appreciation or depreciation of the quoted currency against your home currency could cost you a fortune. So keep in mind that you will need to ask which currency will be used for the quotation so you will be ready to hedge against the risk.

On top of that, please be aware to ask about the INCOTERM used for the price. Quoting on FOB or CIF can cause the price to differ.

The payment term is another thing to be considered. Different suppliers accept different payment term. They might use L/C or T/T or something else. So you should ask the supplier whether they accept the payment term that is the most convenient for you or not.

9. Modes of Shipping

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Shipping is one of the major drivers in your cost for sourcing, both time and monetary cost. You should ask them which mode of transportation is your supplier using. Using the different types of freight transport, whether it be air or sea, can differ in cost significantly and may cost you a fortune.

It’s Your Turn!

That’s a lot to sink in, right? Trust me, asking the question with related to the topic mentioned above would eventually benefit you more than you realised. By following those recommendations, sourcing the home textile product like a pro is not out of reach anymore!

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